Unemployed mum-of-one given £32,000 after arriving for JobCentre meeting

An unemployed mum-of-one was given £32,000 when she showed up at a Jobcentre for a routine meeting.

Jodie Graygoose had never imagined that while looking for work her life would change forever in an instant.

She met Peter Kelly who is the CEO of Imployable and he wanted to gift something incredible to her – a one percent share of his company, reports Plymouth Live.

The incredible chance meeting was all filmed by hidden cameras and it was completely random Jodie, who lives with her eight-year-old son Riley, sat it the right seat at 10.10am.

That time slot was drawn from a hat in days prior to ensure this.

But the life-changing act is about more than just the money.

A reporter from Plymouth Live visited her at her home in Whitleigh and also met the kittens and my new best mate, Buzz the staffy to find out what happens next.

Jodie said: "It was half term, and I had to get the kids ready. Well, my child, and I was babysitting too. We got to the Jobcentre in the pouring rain, and this guy came over and asked if we could have a chat.

"I didn’t mind, I was there early anyway. I thought it would waste some time while waiting. We went in and I was like, ‘Wait, what?’ I’m thinking, this isn’t happening. Surely he’s going to say he’s just joking. Apparently it wasn’t a joke.

"He said he wanted to gift me something. He asked how I feel about being at the Jobcentre, I said they help with what they can. He told me he used to come to this Jobcentre and explained what he’s been doing, it was brilliant.

"He said ‘I want to gift you 1 per cent' and I was in shock. Why would you do that? I’ve now met Pete a couple of times and he’s absolutely lovely, such a genuine guy.

"It’s nice to be part of it, he keeps me updated. I wouldn’t claim to know anything about shares and don’t know what one per cent means. I’m terrible with numbers, so when he was writing it down I was like, ‘Come on, dumb it down for me.’

"When I went to the offices to meet the team, we sat down and he talked me through it. When he told me I was like, ‘Oh my God, you must be crazy to give somebody you don’t know that kind of money.’

"He said it was his way of giving back. People ask me how I feel and I still don’t think it’s really happening. I had to go to my Jobcentre appointment after, then rang my sister. She was like, ‘Are you sure?' And I didn’t know. We were very sceptical about it.

"Obviously now I know it's real. I speak to Pete quite often and ask how it’s going. He’ll say it’s all good and that they’ve had meetings with so and so. And I’m like ‘Epic.’ I don’t know who these people are half the time but it’s nice to know what’s going on."

I asked if she felt a part of Imployable, she said: "Definitely. In the long run it’s going to be a complete change to my life.  I’m not ready to give it away yet, though. I think it could make a lot more and he’s capable of doing very big things. I can put money into it and get more shares, but I’m just letting it sit."

I asked if she had a plan down the line, 'not a clue' was her answer. That’s quite exciting, I replied. "It’s a bit scary though isn’t it?" She said back. "It could’ve been anyone, I usually sit the other end I just sat in that chair for some unknown reason. Strange, but something drew me there.

"I just happen to be the person who sat in that seat. Wow. The Jobcentre was quite busy, it could’ve been anyone that sat there. I’m a bit in shock that it was me. I watch the video and I’m like ‘that’s me.’ I’m in shock really, it’s surreal.

"I was also in shock, 'it’s £32k' I said. 'At the minute', she joked.

"The possibilities are endless, it’s crazy. I lived in a flat before this and I fell on my feet with this house. Maybe I’d buy this house? I know people my age who are married and own a house, I’m like ‘Hang on?! How have you managed that?’

"It’s strange, people say ‘well you have all this money’ and I don’t have the money, it’s sat there, waiting for me."

"I asked if her son knows about it. She said: “He was there, he’s really shy though so he just hid behind a chair. We left and I tried explaining it to him.

“Then he saw the video and said, ‘That’s my mum’s friend and he gave her some busisness.’ I guess if that’s the way you look at it. He’s eight, and I can’t even get my head around it."

Her day-to-day life hasn't changed yet, she described it as: "I drop to Riley to school, do a bit of housework and some shopping. Obviously I’m unemployed at the minute, which majorly sucks. I am hoping to get hired. I volunteer at a children’s centre."

Jodie grew up in North Prospect and enjoyed her time there, she said: "From what I remember it was good. We had a close community, it's like here. There are a lot of children that live here and will grow up together. That’s what we had."

Peter Kelly said: "It is very rare that you get the opportunity to change someone's life directly, this campaign was about giving a gift to someone who is deserving of a break whilst inspiring entrepreneurs to increase their social value and close the gap between businesses and society. I hope that people in the same position as Jodie can be inspired, be open to opportunity and achieve more than their circumstances dictate."

Imployable have taken the first step for entrepreneurs to start sharing their wealth and empowering everyday people.  The film can be seen here.

Six other companies have already signed up to follow Peter Kelly's example and are set to gift equity totalling over £300,000.

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